Spacing Facebook dead — long live Spacing on Facebook

Last week we received a note from the people at Facebook that our Spacing Magazine account had been suspended. We inquired further and it turns out only “real people” can have accounts. At first we were a bit upset — they killed us — but then the more we thought about it, the death of Spacing on Facebook is a very good thing.

Facebook is the best social networking software we’ve come across yet. The back and front-end interfaces are fantastic, clean and user friendly. Better yet, they keep the anarchy of the ‘net at bay by ensuring that only individuals have accounts — and then Facebook makes them obey their design rules (seems so Canadian). We’ve all but abandoned our Myspace account because it’s the Dubai of the internet: cancerous and unregulated growth, hard to navigate, difficult or impossible to tell what’s real and what’s not, and most importantly, it generally looks ugly — like 1994-era free geocities websites.

The first, and only, online social network I joined was Friendster four years ago — until now. It’s still around, but at some point it stopped being “cool,” and it failed to become part of “regular life” — something Facebook seems to be doing. It compliments real life, rather than creates a new universe — so it does what technology should — help us along (in this case, socially). In the one day I’ve been a member, I’ve already found a few people from the past now scattered around the globe I thought I lost. And by limiting it to individual people, it makes it harder for large corporations to get a hold of this chunk of Web 2.0 (look at the way CBS and other networks dominate YouTube now).

So, if you joined Spacing on Facebook and it’s gone, that’s why. But a number of the Spacing editors have accounts now — something most of us thought we’d never do — and we’ve created a Spacing group, so join it, if you want. As for Myspace, we’ll watch it from a distance.

(Image by Angelique Sklavounos in Cavalier Daily)


  1. I was speaking a bit about this at the ICE 2007 closing panel last week: as time goes on, users abandon services because they wish to leave anonymity behind.

    Chat rooms/irc -> Forums -> blogs -> Social networking [myspace -> facebook]

    We are witnessing what I call “the decline of the anonymous internet”.

    Facebook, more than free you from the bad design choices of other users, frees you from the ugly anonymity of pseudonyms and people’s bands.

    As the internet continues to become a tool to communicate with those you already know in meatspace instead of elderly strangers who will drive to your city to abduct you, online abuse actually decreases and the internet approaches its former goal: to be a tool for us to use and not vice versa.

    Using real names is liberating. It’s counterintuitive, but it does make sense.

  2. There already was a Spacing Magazine group on Facebook, admin’d by the now-defunct Spacing Magazine account. There was no longer an admin, so I clicked on “Become Admin” to see what they make you go through to become an admin of an already-established group, and, yeah, I immediately became an admin. Whoops. So as soon as one of you joins, I’ll admin you and then step down myself.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that there are two equally-official and practically identical Spacing groups.

  3. Well, this is the purpose of the difference between user accounts and groups on Facebook.

  4. I think you’re about five years off with the comment about about the 1994 Geocities pages. 🙂

  5. quasi> I think Geocites started up in 1994 — but you’re probably right, that particular awful aesthetic I’m thinking of reached its height in about 1999.

    Come to think of it, in 94 I was still using Lynx to get around, as my 386 wasn’t so into Mosaic or Netscape.

  6. Corporations may not be getting a chunk of the space on facebook, but they are buying user information from facebook. There is a huge amount of data available to any of them concerning people’s favourite books, movies, music, etc.

    To change your privacy settings so that your information is not changed:

    Click “My Privacy” on the left.
    Click “Edit Settings” under the “Friends, Notes, and facebook Development Platform” section.
    Scroll down to the bottom and uncheck “My information may be used according to the restricted Terms of Service.”

  7. Thanks Luis.

    I still insist on actually knowing everybody I’m friends with. I need to have had a real conversation with them (verbal or online — doesn’t matter — but something that resembles an relationship).

  8. Okay, Shawn, I’ve admin’d you on the older of the two Spacing groups.

    (I still don’t understand why there are two. Perhaps you accidentally created the new one without realizing Matt had already made one?

    I suggest you use your new powers to shut down the older group but not before sending a message to all of its members that there is in fact a new one.

  9. Matt didn’t create that first Spacing Group — Spacing did. And Spacing is dead. So Matt created the new Spacing Group, which is intact.

  10. I think I follow, I really do. Haha.

    For those of you that frquent the Urban Toronto Forum, look for us via Facebook’s groups too!

  11. Goddamn, first Spacing has its own mailbox at City Hall, and now it has its own independent consciousness (albeit one that has recently ascended to a higher plane)? I would like to have met this Spacing. Did you see him/her/it as more of a Borg or a Solaris?

  12. People who don’t like MySpace sometimes like – have a look.

  13. I agree myspace is dying and facebook is taking over. MySpace is a trend that lives as long as its press does.

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